Maybe it's your first time, maybe you've been backing that ass up for a while, or maybe you're on the anal fence and require a wee pep talk. In which case, here you go: "Enjoy sex in every orifice!” says Twanna A. Hines, M.S, award-winning sexual health educator. “The body contains too many delicious holes to limit pleasure to a couple of openings. Think outside of the box, or hole, as it were. If your current sexual practices have become routine, exploring anal can be a great way to spice things up." There you have it, folks.
Before going for it, here's some important stuff to keep in mind.
Always. But extra here. Nobody likes surprise anal.
Lube = everything.
"Your anus is a magical and beautiful place that can do some fantastic things, however, lubricating itself is not one of them," says Niki Davis-Fainbloom, sex expert for Keepler. "A continual application of lubrication is necessary when penetrating someone with a finger, penis, or toy."
"Play it smart. Remember, only six bodily fluids transmit HIV. Four can be commonly exchanged during anal sex: blood, anal fluids, cum, and pre-cum. Wear a condom to keep butt play safe and sexy," says Hines. "No double dipping! If a penis, finger, toy, or other object has entered your anus, wash it before putting it inside your vagina. If you don't, you can increase your chances of contracting a UTI, yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, or other infection."
And if someone yelling "Relax!" at you isn't doing the trick, figure out what will work for you, because the more relaxed and turned on you are, the better it will be. (Anal foreplay is a must.) "Make sure you’re with a partner you trust and in comfortable surroundings," says Tatyana Dyachenko, sex therapist and relationship expert with Peaches and Screams. "Create a safe word you can use if it’s too much for you." And if you're lowkey freaking out bc butt = where the poo lives? "You may wish to have a bath or shower beforehand to relax you further and make sure you're clean. This helps to reduce any anxiety that you may be having."
These positions should keep you busy for a while, but remember, "anal sex" can mean WTF you want including rimming, pre-anal trials, test journeys with fingers or toys or, for people with a penis, prostate-focused play. And if penetration is happening, and you don't have a penis, harness up in a strap-on for a pegging session.
T and A
"Make a T Shape!" says Angela Rosario, Sexpert and Relationship Coach at TooTimid.com. The receiver lays down on their side against the edge of a bed or table, facing away from their partner. The penetrator stands to penetrate. "The penetrator can rotate their hips side to side, or up and down to give their partner new sensations as they thrust in and out!"
For lots of eye contact, Rosario recommends that the receiver put their feet or legs on their partner's shoulders in a V. "Eye contact, or being able to watch your partner enjoying the sex can help create more intimacy," she says. "It is also easier for the giver to pleasure their partner in other areas such as nipples, penis, or clitoris at the same time. Stimulation in multiple areas of the body at the same time can help many people orgasm much easier."
If you love watching your partner's reactions, lie back while they straddle you. They can masturbate while you slide a finger or toy in their bum and behold your asstastic sexual powers. Try a wearable vibrator for you too and... holy hell.
"While on your knees, lean forward and place your chest on the bed. This is a fun way for a range of foreplay activities like rimming or using toys," says Kelly Ashlen, founder Sexsi Toys. If you want deep penetration, the penetrator can lean back and pull the receiver's hips in. "Having your hips raised also makes it feel deeper and allows you to reach under and stimulate yourself while your partner is penetrating you."
Super deep penetration plus convenient place to hang on? Yes, please. Kneel in front of a chair, beanbag, side of the bed, and hold the hell on, as needed. Your partner enters from behind and you get a cushion for the pushin'.
Your Ass Is Grass
Lube can make anal feel more intense and pleasurable. Apply some in and around your bumhole a few minutes beforehand for maximum magic, then sit back slowly onto your partner's biological or store-bought D and take as much as you want at your own pace.
All Hands On Pecs
Anal sex often leaves you staring off into the distance, so this position is great for people who want a sexy view. From missionary position, have your partner enter you slowly. Hold onto their chest to help guide their thrusts.
The Plug And Play
If you're not a billion percent sure you want your partner to go all in, start with a test run. Try some clit love via toy or hand, while your partner attempts an exploratory excursion with a well-lubed butt plug. If you want more, it's easy to move onto trial entry by penis or strap-on. Your butt, your rules.
The Posterior Plank
This position has the lowest incidence of suffering a sex-induced butt cramp, if that's something you're worried about. Perfect for when you're feeling lazy but also want to have anal sex, aka Thursday.
Anal Will Always Love You
A more intimate take on doggy-style, stand in front of your partner and have them enter you from behind, keeping your bodies close like they're your "Bodyguard." Then, for the grand crescendo, throw your arms out to the sides like the diva you truly are.
Back Me Up
A kinky take on doggy-style, and who doesn't love doggy-style? Always communicate what speed and depth you're comfortable with in this position, but they can help you relax and stay horny by reaching around and fingering your clit.
The Kinky Cowgirl
Straddle your partner, cowgirl-style, and slowly ease onto their, er, saddle. Then ride them and enjoy holding the reins.
The Low Rider
Get more control over what's going on back there by with a doggy-spoon hybrid. You can use your foot to go deeper or slow it down if it gets too intense.
Just because your rear is the center of attention doesn't mean your front should be ignored. Have them enter you in a spooning position, then use their top hand to give your nipples or clit some love.
The Inversion Booty
An advanced move for yogis and experienced anal sexperts. Swing your legs over their shoulders and have them enter you at an upward angle. The pay-off to your impending leg cramp: They can rub against the sensitive interior parts of your clit from here.
Get the physical benefits of double penetration without the possible accompanying emotional weirdness of having a threesome by just using a dildo instead. Hug a pillow between your legs to keep the dildo or a rabbit-style vibe in place while your partner goes in from behind. So. Much. D.
Lean On Me
It seems basic, but this position is not actually for beginners. You have little control over the speed and depth, and they'll have a hard time reaching your clit to keep you aroused. Do this one with a trusted partner with whom you communicate well to make sure everyone feels supported.
Netflix Anal Chill
It's like Netflix and chill, but, you know, around back. Straddle them on the couch so you have total control over how fast and deep they go, and put on some episodes of Outlander so you can sneakily get off to Jamie Fraser.
No reason you should be getting all the ass-tastic love. Try the intimate Tantric Yab Yum position, but with anal for you and a vibrating prostate toy up the bum for your partner. Press a bullet vibe against your clitoris and, honestly, y'all will barely have to move to have insane, toy-fueled orgasms.
The Triple D
If you and your girl have double penetration fantasies, but also happen to be monogamous lesbians, fill up with hers n' hers double-headed dildos. Suction 'em to the ground, lube up, and gently slide on. (FYI: CBD-based lube can help relax both front and back entries.) Once situated, slowly bob up and down while rubbing your own or a nearby clit.
The Fork Lift
For a sitting version of doggie that gives you waaaay more control of how much you're gonna take, sit down on your partner's lap. Slide down as slowly as you please, bracing your hands on your partner's thighs so you're in full control. (Ahem, making the backing up "beep-beep" noise here is totally optional... as in, not really recommended at all.)
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.